Hopping Crockers

A brightly coloured abstract oil painting with multiple shapes overlapping and intertwining.
Natalie Bruvels
oil on canvas
Collection number
Art in the moveable Collection


Natalie Bruvels has a background in biology which informs her way of seeing. Movement is prevalent in her work, but instead of movement between cell membranes, her interest lies in the implied frenzy of movement between emotional and psychological states. This painting is from the series Lovers’ Imbroglio wherein Bruvels painted over the discarded canvases left by her ex-lover in a cathartic process to deal with the end of their twelve-year relationship. This alchemy of layering the paintings with new compositions references both the physical and emotional changes in her life. Bruvels’ brightly coloured, abstracted forms intertwine with the previous colours and images, mirroring the entangled emotions inherent in the break-up of a long-term relationship. “There’s no way I could have done this to his painting had we not broken up. I really loved his paintings . . . Maybe it’s because I was used to them. I had seen them for so long it’s almost as if they were a part of me,” she explained. Though the original works have been over-painted, the surfaces remain charged with the layered, multiple narratives. Bruvels’ characters oscillate between being identifiable and elusive in various degrees of figuration and abstraction. Currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at University of Ottawa, Natalie Bruvels also has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the same institution.